After watching a glorious season unfold, the day of the Tony Awards has finally arrived. I’m very much looking forward to watching the broadcast tonight from the comfort of my couch, surrounded by snacks and tissues. This is the first time in three years I’ll be watching the broadcast from home. Last year I had to work on Tonys night (no one told my boss it was a theatrical holiday….), and the two years before that I was able to attend the Tony Awards in person, at Radio City Music Hall!
To best reflect on my Tony-attending experience, I pulled up an old blog post, written a few days after the first time I attended the Tony Awards, in 2014. I’ve pasted an abbreviated version of that post below, and included some pictures from 2014 and 2015!
Happy watching tonight!
I attended the 68th Annual Tony Awards this past Sunday. I bought myself a ticket a few months back, the morning that tickets went on sale, because I saw so many shows this year and knew that this would be an incredible culmination of it all. The ticket was very expensive, but, in my opinion, beyond worth it.
I don’t live all that far from NYC (about an hour away by train) and I had planned to be driven in/picked up by my dad on Sunday. However, early last week I was presented with an opportunity that I simply couldn’t refuse. I was invited to sleep over a family friend’s NYC apartment Saturday into Sunday (I would babysit their daughter Saturday night, and then I’d be able to get ready in their apartment Sunday before I headed over to Radio City Music Hall).
So I babysat, slept over, ran 5 miles around Central Park in the morning, showered, ate, and got ready. I took a car service over to Radio City to arrive around 5, hoping to be early enough to get a spot to see the Broadway people arrive on the red carpet at 6. No dice though, it was already super crowded (not a huge surprise). Instead I found a small group of other ticket-holders, who told me they kept being redirected about which entrance to go in. When we explained the situation to a police officer overseeing the entrances, he just kind of shrugged and let us behind the barricades. We ended up walking on a mini red carpet (right behind the real red carpet — we paused to take pictures, obviously) before heading inside.
Inside I walked around for a bit, hoping that some of the Broadway people would walk among us mere mortals, but by the time the big names were arriving to the red carpet outside, it was time for everyone to go to their seats (there were creative arts awards to be given out at 7, which snippets of are aired throughout the Tonys once they go live).
Many of you watched the awards show itself, so I won’t really say much about what happened on stage because we all basically saw the same thing (except y’all had HD close-ups). I will say that it was surreal to be sitting in a room so charged with energy, knowing that some of the most incredibly talented people in the world were just a few levels below me (I sat in the second mezzanine, AKA the mezzanine level where Hugh Jackman emerged singing at one point, though he was sadly on the opposite side of where I sat…). My main highlights were Idina ruling the stage (she truly is a supernova), NPH & David Burtka’s kiss, Audra making theater history, and Gentleman’s Guide giving a stupendous performance and going on to win a Tony for Best Musical. While everyone at home was watching commercials, Hugh would make jokes/chat/tell a mini story/give us a sports score update. He was lively and very funny, it was fabulous.
After the massive Hugh Hop at the end of the Tonys (I was a little concerned because it felt like RCMH was shaking because everyone was jumping), I went downstairs and joined the stream of people exiting the building. I saw Sutton Foster take a selfie with a group of teens, and I stood with Sophie Okonedo (who was holding her newly acquired Tony) at the crosswalk. There seemed to be a crowd of people gathering behind RCMH trying to see stars exit, but I didn’t really feel the need to try and jam myself in with that group of people (I was lucky enough to see/talk to a lot of the stars at the Drama Desk Awards last week, and I knew the chances of getting close to those same people at the Tonys was slim. I was also exhausted as my adrenaline levels settled).
My dad drove me home, and I fangirled pretty much the whole way back (A+ parenting for putting up with me). I still can’t fully believe that my experience was real, it was beyond what I could have hoped for!!